Aussie Import: 1965 Toyota Landcruiser

When I bought my 1981 Toyota HiAce last year, I had no idea where this type of vehicle was still in use. As my search for spare parts intensified, I got my answer: Australia, the land of old Toyota 4x4s and strange vans that residents use for everything from commuting to camping. Therefore, it’s no surprise to find out this sweet 1965 Toyota Landcruiser pickup here on craigslist hails from the land of scorpions and kangaroos. 

In addition to being right-hand drive, this Landcruiser sports one of my favorite features of Australian vehicles: the ‘roo bar! Yes, this is for pinging kangaroos off your front end as they come bounding out in front of you. And yes, I am paying an ungodly sum of money to have one freighted to me for installation on the nose of my van. This Landcruiser looks like it was scooped up from the Sunshine Coast and dropped on the ground in Oregon.

This is a working truck, as you can see from the body graphics. No word on if those were added for the current owner’s business or if that’s how it was imported, but hopefully, the next owner won’t change a thing. The interior is sparse but complete; really, the appeal in this truck is how scruffy it is, so I’d throw some seat covers over the ripped vinyl and call it a day. By the way, thanks to Barn Finds reader Danny Tyksinski for the find.

The seller notes it has a few rust issues but nothing major; it runs and drives and the 3-speed manual shifts well but it doesn’t stop. Besides the brakes, the seller thinks its needs as a driver are very minimal and notes that the 4WD system and hubs still function as intended. It’s been legally imported and has all the documentation it needs to be registered legally; is this old-school cool Aussie worth the $7,450 ask?

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Comments

  1. Adam T45 Staff

    It’s interesting that you make reference to what is referred to here in Australia as a “roo bar”. The attached photo is of my Falcon utility, which I fitted with a roo bar similar to the one on the Landcruiser. For me, living in the country, one of these bars became a necessity. People from overseas envisage that kangaroos are these cute little animals no more than a couple of feet tall. The biggest kangaroos can stand over five feet tall, and hitting one can be an unforgettable experience (both for the driver and the car). I fitted the bar to my car after an encounter with one of these transformed my standard plastic front bumper into a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle! I generally do my utmost to avoid wildlife, but when you are traveling on a country road towing a racing car on a tandem trailer, swerving and heavy braking are something best avoided.

    I’m also certain that kangaroos recognise these for what they are. Since fitting my bar, I haven’t even come close to hitting another kangaroo.

    • Tim

      Sweet XG. I had a XF sedan S-pac efi

  2. JimmyJ

    Question for Adam T45…
    How many of these cruiser pickups are still around in Australia?
    I love em!
    I’m sure importing would be expensive but you’d get big bucks in Canada or US

    • Adam T45 Staff

      Jimmy J, the older ones are getting harder to find but they’re definitely still out there. The Landcruiser 70 Series pickup (in single cab or dual cab) are still available here in Australia to purchase new. I am heavily involved in the speedway scene, and Landcruiser pickups are a common site as tow vehicles because of the fact that they are nearly indestructible, and they have a phenomenal towing capacity.

    • KCCook

      Hi JimmyJ,
      You may well find that it would be much cheaper to import one from South Africa.
      Firstly they are very common there and the exchange rate is hugely in your favor.
      Secondly the sea freight charges would be much cheaper.
      The specifications are the same and you can still find the scarcer 45 series fairly easily. The 70 series are plentiful.
      They are often fitted with a similar front bar called a bull bar but I’m sure any competent welder could knock out a ” roobar ” in an afternoon.

  3. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Cool rig. I would take the sawzall to most of the cow catcher though. Living in Wisconsin, deer run wild here also. As the Ghost Rider says, you can not live in fear. Never hit a deer or a kangaroo after 62 years of cruising the backroads. Although I did just miss a pink elephant leaving the saloon one evening. Say hallelujah. $7450 seems like a lot to me. I have a 1960 Willys 4by4 utility wagon that I have a great deal of off and on road fun with. And thanks Adam T45, nice looking rig, I always enjoy your input! Thank you, take cake care, Mike.

    • Adam T45 Staff

      Thanks for that Mike, I appreciate it. I bought the rig to use as a tow vehicle when I raced speedway. I retired from that and fully intended to sell it. Unfortunately I’ve become quite attached to it, so it has stayed. It’s a 4 litre straight six with a 4-speed auto. I get 30 mpg out of it and it’s superbly comfortable. Kangaroos aren’t the only enemy here. Another one is a creature called a wombat. Those things are about the size of your average family dog, but appear to be built from a particularly hard type of concrete. I’ve seen numerous situations where people have hit these things and written off their cars. But to add insult to injury, the wombat is likely to just stand up and walk away as though nothing has happened! You take care as well my friend.

      • leiniedude leiniedude Member

        Thanks stud. I worked in Texas for a while, and the amarillo might be like the wombats. Always something eh? I am just happy we are above ground. Take care, Mike. PS, can you tell me the weather down there? Just curios if you can drive all year around. Thank you. Mike.

    • Adam T45 Staff

      Hey Mike, I actually live in Tasmania (yep, home of the famous devil!). Winters here tend to be wet and a bit cold, but we usually only get snow up in what’s referred to as the Central Highlands. Winter lows where I live are usually around or just below freezing, but the days usually warm up. We had a warm snap towards the end of November (Spring) where it was up into the low 30’s celcius.. The worst part here is that Tasmania is an island, and it’s the most southern point of the country. When the weather blows in from the south it’s blowing straight across the southern oceans from Antarctica. That’s when it gets cold! Driving all year round here isn’t a problem mate.

      • KenMax

        I live in a small country town in Victoria and if it wasn’t for the water separating the south island from the north island :-) and therefore family and friends, we would live in Tasmania … just love the place. Any of our American friends who visit Australia MUST include Tasmania in their travels.

  4. JimmyJ

    Thanks for the reply Adam T45!
    How bout the newer ones like early 80s or late 70s? What do you pay for them?
    Lots of diesels?
    Thanks,
    JimmyJ

    • Adam T45 Staff

      Hey JimmyJ, there are plenty of diesels of that vintage kicking around. Prices vary pretty widely, but $4500 (Aus) would secure you a really good one from the late 1980’s.

  5. Ken

    Here in Australia there are a few companies importing American cars at reasonable prices. Might be worth talking to a few of them about back loading a Landcruiser. Just a thought.

    • Tricky

      I import a lot of cars and bikes from the USA and unfortunately Ken there is no such thing as backloading gor overseas freight…

  6. Jeff Lavery Staff

    Since we have some first-hand experience posting here, I thought I’d share a picture of the ‘roo bar I purchased for my HiAce. This isn’t MY HiAce – it’s the one sitting in a wrecking yard somewhere in AUS – but the roo bar is going on mine.

    • Tony C. Australia

      Jeff, if you plan on fitting that ‘roo’ bar make sure you mount it a little more forward than on that van, with the slightest bump that thing will be bent back onto the bodywork and cause damage that you wouldn’t normally get in a slight ‘nudge’ on the bumper with some immovable object. You may be able to reinforce the uprights to make them stronger at the bottom to reduce bending.

    • BMW4RunninTundra

      Jeff,
      When are we going to get a “pictorial update” with regard to the Ace project?! I read this site everyday and have seen some pics but those were some time back? Just curiosity to see what that strange animal is going to look like!
      Thank you, and all the rest of the ‘Staff’ for all the EXCELLENT writing/commentary!!!
      Hope you guys and all the site Members, have a Very Blessed Christmas!!

  7. Gavin - Australia

    Here’s a few things about this Land Cruiser. It could well have come from the little village of Bell, which is about 160 miles inland from Brisbane. It is on the Bunya Highway about half way between Kaimkillenbun and Mowbullan. The other thing is about importing and exporting classic vehicles here in Australia. This has become increasingly difficult and very expensive since the Australian Government has developed a paranoia about asbestos. All movements into and out of here now are subject to inspection for asbestos because it is totally illegal to move the stuff. There are fines of over $3000 per offence – and if they find asbestos in the brake linings, clutch plate, gaskets, insulation, etc. Each find is classed as a separate offence. Some importers have been hit with costs over $20,000 to rectify problems perceived by Customs officers. It is bad news for all vintage and classic vehicle owners here. Here is just one article about it. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/motoring/news-story/558ae57b52f7e995237f6e3193ea62b1

  8. Chris Londish Member

    Nice old FJ 45 although the well back doesn’t look like a factory fitment could of started as a cab chassis and a home made one fitted , these old Toyotas are starting to get rare and people are paying big money for a good one just recently a Cruiser was sold to a museum in your country I think in Salt Lake City, it looks like a war time Jeep only it has a 6cyl motor they were built for the Japanese police just after WW2

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